During periods of uncertainty, budgeting for non-profit organizations can be an especially daunting task. To help navigate tumultuous times, Jennifer Banks, Manager at Your Part-Time Controller, recommends taking a long-term approach by projecting multiple years ahead, while also conducting a thorough analysis of past accomplishments and challenges using the SWOT framework. Additionally, Banks stresses the importance of involving all team members responsible for financial processes within the organization to streamline the process and increase it’s success. More about Your Part-Time Controller

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Video Summary:

Jarrett Ransom and Julia Patrick discuss with Jennifer Banks budget planning for nonprofits in unusual economic conditions. Jennifer Banks, a manager with Your Part-Time Controller, shares her insights and expertise on the topic.

They begin by introducing themselves and acknowledging the sponsors of the show. Jennifer Banks talks about her role at Your Part-Time Controller and mentions that the company recently celebrated its 30th anniversary. She is located in Irvine, California, and primarily works with nonprofit clients on the West Coast.

They discuss the importance of budgeting in uncertain times and maintaining a positive and open mindset during the process. Jennifer emphasizes the need to take a macro perspective and consider the wider economic conditions, such as financial sector turmoil, high inflation, labor shortages, and public debt. She suggests conducting a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) but in reverse order, starting with macro conditions and then analyzing strengths and weaknesses within that context.

Jarrett and Julia Patrick express their appreciation for the SWOT analysis and its effectiveness in strategic planning. They discuss the importance of involving other team members in the budgeting process and creating a baseline understanding with the SWOT analysis.

Jennifer advises making time and space for the budgeting process, especially in unusual economic conditions. She suggests considering scenario planning and multi-year budgets to account for funding that spans multiple years. Taking breaks and approaching the budget with fresh eyes is crucial. Meeting milestones, documenting assumptions, and being proactive rather than reactive are also highlighted.

When asked about the time required for budget planning, Jennifer recommends a minimum of four to six weeks but suggests giving more time, preferably a couple of months, for a thorough process. She explains that longer-term planning and scenario analysis can help streamline future budgeting efforts.

Overall, the discussion emphasizes the importance of approaching budget planning in unusual economic conditions with a positive mindset, considering macro conditions, conducting a SWOT analysis, and allocating sufficient time for a thorough process. The goal is to create a proactive and flexible budget that aligns with the organization’s goals and can adapt to changing circumstances.